The Short Mat Players Tour staged the first of their 2016/2017 tournaments – the UK Open – at the County’s home venue at Bromsgrove Indoor Bowls Centre, on the 20th and 21st August. The tournament saw 24 short mats in use accommodating 144 players. The players were allocated into groups of 6 with each player within the group playing against each other to determine progression into the knockout stage. The two first players within each group would proceed into the main knockout phase for the UK Open Cup. The third and fourth players would proceed to compete for the “Plate” with the fifth and sixth players competing for the “Shield”. Only one player from Worcestershire competed in this tournament – Malcolm Saunders – but this was entirely due to the very quick take up of places after the entry process started.
Malcolm progressed well in the group only losing one match. This placed him second within the group which saw him progress to the main UK Open knockout stage,In the first round of the knockout stage his opposite number was Paul Gallagher from Ireland with a world ranking of 20. In spite of several hard fought and successful ends Malcolm lost in this round. Nevertheless Malcolm can be well pleased with his most successful tournament to date.